The Summer Foundation’s Curator, Gina Fall, chats with Helen Burt about her work in a Summer Foundation codesign project. Helen has been a long-time contributor to the work of the Summer Foundation. She shares her lived experience of disability in an effort to create change. Recently, Helen has been working with a team to create resources for people thinking about moving out of aged care.
Helen, what experience did you bring to the project?
I had the unhappy experience of living in aged care for 8 years, and then the excitement of moving into my own apartment. This meant I was able to share my experience of living through these events over the past year.
What did you enjoy about the project?
I enjoyed being part of creating something to assist other people to understand their choices and what may lie ahead if they decided to move.
It was great to be working again, it gave a bit more focus for my time and I was doing something I felt was important. It was unfortunate that due to COVID there couldn’t be any face-to-face meetings, so like everything, it was all via Zoom.
What would you say to others thinking about contributing to the work of the Summer Foundation by sharing their experience?
I have always found that sharing experiences with the team at the Summer Foundation means that your ideas, experience and emotions are respected. You are also given the time and space to do this, which is important.
You moved from RAC to SDA, how do you think these resources would have helped you?
It would have been fantastic to have these resources for lots of reasons. The main one was that it was so hard to imagine what life could be like when you move out of a nursing home and how everything could work together – to give you the support you need, the space you need, the food you need and generally to create a home for yourself.
I’m sure being able to visualise all these things would have helped me decide what I wanted and feel more confident about my decisions.
Do you have a message for others thinking about moving out of RAC?
Everyone is different, so of course it’s an individual decision, but moving out of aged care can be even better than you could imagine.
You can check out the resources Helen and the team have created on our Housing Hub website here.